The Old Peabody Pew

IMG_5204If you’re looking for a sweet, heartwarming Christmas story, look no farther than this one by author Kate Douglas Wiggin, of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Fame. Set during Christmastime at the turn-of-the-century in a small New England town, the story centers on a charmingly diverse group of women who are readying their town’s church for Christmas, and we catch hilarious and thoughtful glimpses of their lives during the process. The narrative’s pinnacle is reached when, on Christmas Eve, single, lonely, and 3oish heroine Nancy is unexpectedly given the gift of romance. Pensive reminiscing and hopeful dreams of the future are skillfully woven into the story, which, incidentally, must have created a refreshing and surprising read for single women in the early 20th century who were often considered too old for marriage when well into or past their 20’s. A short and charming story for Christmas, you won’t regret your foray into one of Ms. Wiggin’s lesser known stories.

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I found the book several years ago when visiting a used bookshop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The title and cover first caught my eye, then upon turning the pages I discovered some charming illustrations and what looked like a lovely story. I turned to a blank page inside and discovered that the author had inscribed a postscript to her story and signed her name beneath it. Of course, it had to come home with me.

The book was originally published in 1905; my edition was published in 1907. You can purchase your own original copy or a paperback here.

Until next time… xo

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